tv Democracy Now LINKTV May 31, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
05.31.12 05.31.12 >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i see a society struggling with complex held issues and making it to vote for them and their per lives. i see a society that respects the villages differences of their citizens. i see a society that rejects hate. >> the anniversary of an assassination. george tiller was shot dead while attending church in wichita, kansas.
reproductive health care providers remain a target of violence against a wave of new legislation curtailing access to safe abortion. last week, two clinics were set ablaze. we will speak to mickey saporta and dr. willie parker. and then to bahrain to speak with two just released political prisoners, zainab alkhawaja and nabeel rajab. >> i will continue my struggles. no matter what the cost me. i believe the cost of the struggle, the freedom that we are fighting for, and i am willing to pay that cost. first gold rush since the days of christopher columbus. will the people of haiti benefit? people speak with a reporter. all that coming up.
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. new fighting erupted in yemen as part of a military defense in the south. seven were killed earlier today when fighters attacked a town held by to remit troops. the clashes came hours after some 20 fighters and seven fighters exchanged fire outside a city of jaar. there is a food prices and there are hundreds of children facing malnutrition. syrian rebels have issued a 48- hour deadline for the regime of bashar al-assad to comply with the plan. they have until early friday morning to adhere to the agreement brokered by international envoy coakley and -- kofi annan.
>> the joint specia anl envoy annan has voiced his concerns that we may have reached a tipping point in syria. the evidence that we saw last weekend could tilt syria into a civil war, from which the country would never recover. i demand the government of syria back on this commitment under the anna peace plan -- annan peace plan. >> syrian forces meanwhile continue to bomb the rubble area. susan rice says syria faces consequences, should they not put billy peace plan. >> members of the international
community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they are prepared to take actions outside of the annan plan and authority of this council. that is what we have all sought to avoid through support of this plan. the decision rests with the syrian government. >> the assad regime has faced international pressure after actions in houla. the syrian government has denied any killings. in iraq, 13 people have died in a series of bombings. the deadliest attack occurred when a car exploded outside of a crowded restaurant. new figures show civilian
deaths in afghanistan are showing at least a temporary decline for the first time in five years. killings of civilians dropped 21% in the first four months of the year. last year was the deadliest in month on record. reports have re-emerged as a pakistani doctor sentenced to 33 years in prison after helping to track down osama bin laden was charged of colluding with a war load. review war lord. u.s. officials decided to reduce aid to pakistan because of this. -- warlord. a pakistani court reportedly declined to examine afridi's tis, instead focusing on his connections to the war lord battling the pakistani army. hundreds of tibetans have been detained opposing the chinese
rule. two people set themselves on fire in protest of china earlier this week. it was the first major protest against chinese control in four years. florida governor rick scott is moving forward with a plan to purge thousands of people from the voting rolls. while the move is ostensibly aimed at cracking down on non- citizens, critics say the process relies on outdated information and have swept up hundreds of eligible voters. already, some are receiving letters identifying them as non-citizens and requiring proof of citizenship in order to vote. hispanic and independent-minded voters are most likely to be targeted in a purge. some consider this a bit to disenfranchise democratic voters ahead of the election.
eric holder discussed in an attack on voting rights and addressed african-american lawmakers and church goers in washington. >> extending voting rights to property owners, women, people of color, native americans, and younger americans. today, a growing number of our citizens are worried that the same disparities and divisions and problems from five years ago some of to address. i have heard it consisted drumbeat of concern from citizens who have, for the first time in their lives, have reason to believe we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most noble ideas and some of the finest achievements of the civil rights battle have now rise again. >> public companies have expressed concern about climate change and have privately contradicted that stands by donating money to candidates to
our questioning the ndf. less than one-third of the company's support of science- based science policy through their donations while the rest opposed such policies. nine couples in illinois have filed suit to challenge the state's ban on same-sex marriage. the suit is filed one year to the day after illinois enacted civil unions for same-sex couples but continue to deprive them of the full protection of marriage. the white house has apologized to poland over language used by president obama and operate a polish resistance fighter earlier this week. obama referred to a polish debt cap, without noting that poland was occupied by not to germinate. on wednesday, and jay carney said that the president had misspoke. >> the president was referring
to not to death camps in occupied poland. we regret the statement. that simple statement should not at all detract from the clear intention to honor mr. karski and all those brave polish citizens who stood in the face of violence. >> thousands of people marched in cities across canada wednesday night in an act of solidarity with the quebec student protest. demonstrators bank pots and pans as they marched the streets. the video of an illinois republican legislator launching an angry tirade on the part of the illinois general assembly is
making the rounds on the internet. the lawmaker exploded in a speech denouncing what he called the excessive power of the illinois house leader mike madigan, a democrat the debt total power in one person's hands. not the american way. i have to figure out how to vote for my people. you should be ashamed of yourselves. i am sick of it. every year, we give power to one person. it was not been that way in the constitution. he was around when it was written. now we pass rules that stopped each one of us. enough. i feel like somebody tried to be released from egypt. that my people go.
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today marks the third anniversary of the death of dr. george tiller, a 67-year-old abortion provider who was shot point blank as he attended services in his wichita, kansas church. he was one of the handful in the nation that performed abortions after the 24 week of pregnancy. he faced constant threats of vandalism and violence. his clinic was bombed in 1985. in 1993, dr. tiller survived an assassination attempt. speaking to them this majority foundation in 2008, he described the danger he faced. >> while i was developing this practice, i thought i was just stepping out disease and taking family vacations.
but that is not true. there is a lot impressed on me that there are a lot of people in the u.s. that do not like what we do. it is with -- this is what an office looks like when your office is bomb that the night. our response continues to be, how know, we won't go. -- hell no, we won't go. [applause] i put up $10,000 as a reward. nobody ever caught them. that was 1986. we tried to get back to being a normal clinic but we have to take some security arrangements. again, my head in the sand, and taking care of a patient, tried to make the world a better place to live one woman at a time.
i said, this will not happen again. well, i was wrong. >> that was george tiller speaking in 2008, one year before he was assassinated. the anniversary of his murder comes at a time of renewed violence against reproductive health care providers. last week, two women's clinics in georgia were hit by apparent arson attacks. a new orleans group that offers education to transgendered and poor women of color was also struck by an apparent arsonist. the arsonist targeted a room with sexual health education materials, including models used to teach self breast exams and a box of condoms. today, a group is honoring george tiller and pushing for a new wave of safe abortion legislation. the house of representatives
votes on new legislation to abortion rules. at the state of all, the latest round of restrictions are bans on abortion and later pregnancy. in the louisiana, two bills appear close to passage. one bill bans abortion 20 weeks after conception, except in cases where the mother's life is in danger. a similar measure banning abortion at 20 weeks in washington, d.c. has also been pushed by republican congress member trent franks of arizona. the district's only representative was denied the chance to testify against the bill at a house subcommittee hearing this month. for more, we go to washington,
d.c. for we are joined by vicki saporta. she was a friend of dr. george tiller. we're also joined by willie parker, board member of physician for reproductive choice in health. vicki saporta, you knew dr. george tiller, who was killed three years ago today. talk about what he did, his mission, and what happened? >> he was a remarkably generous and compassionate physician. we heard stories in memorial services all across the country of people who refer patients to him. we have a toll-free hot line and we referred one woman from a southern state -- she could not afford the care that she needed he offered to provide the abortion free of charge if she could get to wichita. he found out that she was
sleeping in her car without a coat, and he instructed his staff to find her a hotel room, to provide her with a coat, shoes, food. not all the did he provide his care free of charge, he also provide her with lodging, food, and treated her with the dignity and compassion that she deserved. in another case, there was a young rape victim, who lived in a large eastern city where she should have been able to receive the care she needed. her care was delayed. she could not receive the care in her home state. when dr. tiller heard about her case, he offered to take care of per. when this very young rape survivor went to wichita with her parents, she was greeted by dr. tiller and his entire staff
with pink t-shirts with yellow lettering saying, friends of annie. we hear story after story of the incredible compassion that people were treated with, the excellent care that they received from dr. tiller and his staff. he was a remarkable position and we miss him every day. >> talk about what happened three years ago. who is scott roeder? >> we had an extremist who had been planning to murder dr. tiller for a number of years, based on his own testimony. he went to dr. tiller's church twice prior to and being able to carry out his assassination attempt. his testimony was absolutely chilling it. this is a position that was
targeted, as you mentioned in your earlier remarks, and he put up with threats, violence, harassment, every single day. he knew it because he knew how important the care was to his patients. he paid the ultimate sacrifice. he was an incredible position -- physician and he has left a huge void in our community where others are trying to fill. >> i want to play this, from scott roeder's testimony in 2010. he repeatedly defended his crime. >> had the courts acted correctly, i would not have shot george tiller. the blame lies more with the state of kansas been with me. the state of kansas permits and promotes the slaughter of these children. george tiller was there hit man.
>> in fact, he had tried to go after another clinic and a clinic worker there have reported what he had done, but coming up the locks. yet, it was not stopped. he did that do this for the first time there at the wichita church. >> oftentimes, these extremists start with lower level activity, and that activity escalates, which is why law enforcement response to clinic violence is so important. roeder try to justify his actions, put forward a justifiable homicide defense which was not allowed, as it should not have been. there is no justification for murdering an abortion provider or any other health care professional. in a civilized society, we cannot allow people to settle political differences by murdering one another.
this was an aberrant act. he will spend the rest of his life in jail. >> can you talk about the void left by dr. tiller, the closing of the clinic, access to abortion in kansas now? >> there is no abortion provider currently in wichita, kan., so women have to travel some distance in order to obtain the care they need, if they live in kansas. but dr. tiller cared for women from all over the world. others would refer to his practice because they knew that their patients would receive excellent and compassionate care. others have extended their practices and have tried to fill the void by the closing of his clinic, so we are able to refer
women to obtain quality clare -- care later in pregnancy. dr. tiller and his staff and facility were unique. we, as a community, still miss him, just listening to his voice reminded me of the many times that he came to our meetings and we spoke. others were happy to be able to talk to him, to thank him, and get his advice on different cases, patient care. he was equally generous but his colleagues as he was with his patients. he was a revered, respected, and beloved physician. >> dr. willie parker, the issue of providing later term abortions, which is what dr. tiller was doing. you yourself do this as well.
not only was this position murdered, but other women would come to him from all over. can you talk about legislation that would affect where you are coming in washington d.c., and this unusual move of an arizona congress member to limit abortions in the district of columbia? >> first, let me say, on the anniversary of dr. tiller's death -- >> i am sorry, we are not hearing you -- ok, go ahead. >> on the anniversary of dr. tiller -- hello, can you hear me? >> continue with what you are
saying. >> i had the good fortune to meet him three years prior to his death. his generosity and kindness were unrivaled. he welcomed me. i was always an abortion provider. it is in his spirit that i seek to maintain that level of commitment to care. practicing in the district of columbia, where based on a bill introduced by representative francs, based on medically inaccurate information based on fetal pain, would outlaw abortion past 20 weeks, has the potential to put us in a position to deny care to women who are often in tragic situations or circumstances. what is incredible about this, this demand for restricting abortion access to women in this situation is not being driven by the people of the district of
columbia but by political ideology. the impact on me as a physician , considering the cases that i encounter, women with wanted but flawed pregnancies, or health issues, would be restricted, and this bill is placed into law. >> why a congress member from arizona going after the district of columbia? >> it is an artifact of the fact that the district of columbia has not been allowed to achieve statehood. because of that, it is in a form of receivership from the federal government. it creates the opportunity for people who are ideologically driven to do political mischief. this is not the first time that representative franks has tried to legislate is very restrictive
position on abortion. this is the first time he has gotten it this far. i think he is trying to capitalize on a strategy that has been very effective, the notion of trying to frame the abortion restrictions in terms of fetal pain, which is not supported by scientific evidence. he is basically doing it because he can, because of the situation. >> dr. parker, can you talk about what it means to be a doctor who provides abortion up to 24 weeks? who comes to you? >> as i said, providing abortion up to the legal limit allows me to respond to the needs of women who are -- albeit a small percentage of women who actually have abortions -- in fact, 20% of the women who have abortions, only 2% -- that is not a small
number. approximately 150,000 women annually in the country need this care. the women who often find out later that they are pregnant, or that there is a problem with their pregnancy, are often desire to continue their pregnancy but when they figure out that it is fatally flawed, oftentimes those women at reproductive age extremes, like extremely young, who have a reliable periods, have difficulty recognizing they are pregnant, as well as women over the age of 40 who were in the highest risk of having abnormalities in the pregnancy, they are the women who are also in sometimes chaotic let circumstances, so the picture is very, but the reality is, all
women are at risk for potentially on planned or unwanted pregnancy. the reality for this cuts across all demographics. >> the arson attacks on women's health clinics in the last week's. can you talk about what has happened in georgia, as well as what has happened in new orleans? >> we are very concerned about the escalation of violence in georgia. we started out with burglaries' against some clinics. they escalated to arson. the last arson was set not in the middle of the night, as is the usual pattern, but during the day, when patients and staff were at the facility. we were very lucky that no one was injured or killed in that fire. the perpetrators showed a complete disregard for human
life. we are working with law enforcement to try to identify the perpetrator, helping in the investigation in any way that we can so that this person cannot do harm to any other facilities or people. we often see that when things escalate, they continue to escalate, unless we have strong law enforcement response, which we do in this case. we need to find the perpetrator of those crimes. >> let me ask you about the new orleans advocacy oservice. i want to go to a clip of the group's executive director, deon haywood, explaining what happened. >> i think i have cried as much as i will allow myself for
today. i feel violated. more than anything, i am concerned about our clients not having a place to come. but the work it will continue. it will not stop us from speaking out for people who do not have a voice. we have had some issues of people not liking our work, wondering where we are hoping certain populations of people come up for income women, those release from incarceration, the transgendered community. this just gives us more fuel to fight. >> that was deon haywood. vicki saporta? >> these are hate crimes. we need to find out who is responsible we need to prosecute them to the fullest extent of a lot. people need to understand they cannot get away with using
violence to advance their own, personal, private, political agendas. we are calling on law enforcement now to see if these two our sins are, in any way, related. they may not be, but we would like law enforcement to at least take a look at that possibility. >> dr. parker, the track laws, can you explain what they are and how they affect your work? >> it is an acronym that stands regulation ofrestricte abortion providers. draft laws are rules or regulations that are enforced on abortion providers or clinics, under in the guise of making abortion care safer, they
impose regulations in terms of recording requirements or spontaneous visits that potentially compromise a patient's confidentiality, as well as costly renovations of clinics based in ways that have nothing to do with patient safety. the trap laws -- and they take years forms in different states -- often aims to make abortion and possible. if they cannot comply with, the clinics will often have to close or they have a chilling effect on providers willing to provide care. >> vicki saporta, the house of representatives is voting on new legislation to ban abortion based on the sex of the fetus. people say this is a good thing. they do not want a test done for a female fetus.
talk about the abortion of this and what this means. >> this is another bill being sponsored by representative francs. -- franks. there are problems in the world with sex selection, china, india, and others, but this is not there was the problem in the united states. it is aimed at regulating doctors speech with their patients and criminalizing doctors for have been open conversations that they need to have to provide the quality of care that women deserve. the bill wants to criminalize doctors for providing care and wants to have them violate patient confidentiality and turn in their patients if they learn something in the conversation in the course of their care. this is against all medical
ethics and the practice of medicine in the united states. it is aimed at making abortion care less accessible. >> i want to return to an anti- abortion group who unveiled a sting the video. the group said that planned parenthood is practicing in gender-selective abortions. >> even sections of america's population have distorted sex ratios. gendercide exists on almost every continent. if experts are right and gendercide is taking place in our own backyard, what is being done to protect our girls from the most brutal form of discrimination? a violent sex selective abortion. >> your response to this, vicki saporta? >> she has tried to do sting operation that many planned
parenthood facilities. she selectively edits her work. this is not a widespread problem in the united states. they were also trying to include race selection in the bill in congress and the outcry from the civil rights community and others forced them to basically take that out the bill because there was no basis for it. the house of representatives has passed a number of bills to restrict abortion and to make it more difficult for women to access to abortion care. we are seeing the same thing happen in many of the states. there is an unprecedented number of bills being enacted in the states to limit women's access to abortion care. it is part of an overall agenda on this very well articulated by those who oppose abortion. if they cannot make abortion
illegal again in this country, they intend to make it inaccessible for women. they passed a lot of legislation aimed at trying to improve women's safety, when in fact, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures provided in the country today and does not need to be further regulated. >> dr. willie parker, you provide later term abortions. why do you continue to do this when abortion providers continue to be under such threat? >> well, i would like to be as committed as dr. george tiller was. his commitment came from seeing firsthand the need that women had, that reproduction is not as clean and black and white as people like to make it. tragic situations arise all the time.
the need was there when dr. tiller rose to meet the occasion. with his assassination, that need has not gone away. i am concerned about my safety, like anyone else, but to be overly concerned about that represents a distraction. it does not allow me to respond to the needs of women. out of a sense of compassion and an attitude that abortion is healthcare, i came to realize, abortion, along with other valuable health-care i provide comic is part of what i do. i will continue to do that. >> i want to end with the words of dr. tiller, an event organized by a feminist majority in 2008. he discussed his vision for a more just and humane society. >> i personally see a society that respects the integrity of
its citizens to struggle with complex health issues and make decisions that are prepared for them and their personal lives. i see a society that respects the religious differences of its citizens. i see a society that rejects hate, rejects judgment of condemnation, and rejects prejudice and racism. i see a government that honor the privacy of its citizens without unwarranted surveillance. i see a society where war is not an option. negotiation with mutual respect is the hallmark rather than mutual self destruction. i see a society where the ball for of all is -- well aware of all is equally as important as the riches of the few. i see a world that discusses solutions without demanding its own answers. we have given more, petulance, agreed, chico, self-sufficiency
a good try, and they have all failed. we need a new paradigm that consists of kindness, courtesy, justice, love, and respect in all our relationships. work hard. be a leader. your way of life depends on it. just look at the rest of the world. that is the way the anti- abortion segment of our population once the usa to be. how do we do that? the way we have always done things. we figure out a way forward. we consider the way between temporary and convenience. and we never ever take no for an answer. work hard. be a leader. and the rest of your life depends on it and the life of your sisters and brothers around the world depend on it. thank you. >> dr. george tiller was murdered three years ago today
>> "hello birmingham," sung by ani difranco. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn to the gulf empire of bahraini where zainab alkhawaja has been released after being jailed. her release comes one day after he ended his more than three- month hunger strike. says that heife will keep fighting for democracy in bahrain. >> my husband will never stop protesting by going on harder stress or otherwise. i know that now he will be thinking, what is next? maybe soon we will hear something else. but he is not a quitter.
>> a abdulhadi alkhawaja was jailed last month. they are among a 21-member group whose cases being reexamined by a court. as a alkhawaja remains locked up, his colleague nabeel rajab. we are going to bahrain where we are joined by nabeel rajab as well by zainab alkhawaja. nabeel, let's begin with you. talk about why you were imprisoned in what happened while you were there. >> according to the accusations that they accused me of, threatening the security institution, calling for an permitted gatherings, all about my freedoms of expression, opinion, criticism to the
actions of the police, my work on human rights, my work as a human rights defender, calling people to protest peacefully together. i think this is a punishment for my work in the past few years. now again i am released on bail out temporarily until the verdict, which should be held next month. >> is a number, can you tell me why you were arrested, -- zainab, can you tell me why you were arrested? >> yes, this is the fifth time i have been arrested. i do not know how many cases i have in court. every time they arrest me is not really for any good reason. they do not have any evidence against me. usually they accuse me of participating in illegal gatherings or verbally
assaulting riot police. these are usually what the court accuses me of. however, just like nabeel rajab and my father and other activists, they are trying to punish us, silence us, for writing and document the abuses happening in the country. >> why did you choose this moment to protest? >> the grand prix made many people upset. we are going through a difficult time. protesters are being killed or injured. the government announced that formula one would be a celebration for all bahrainis at a time when we are suffering. this made many people upset, made many people go out protesting. i am one of those people who were upset by what was happening. >> nabeel rajab, what about the role of the united states?
the united states speaks out against violent and against people, for example, in syria. what about in the rain? >> so far, the u.s. government has only been a negative influence. if you compare bahraini with libya answer -- and syria, we see differences. they are asking the russians not to sell arms to syria or libya. we always thought that america and bahrain's good relations with help freedom and democracy in the region, but it has turned out to be politically opposite. they are supporting a dictator here, the oppressive regime. when they speak about the protests in bahrain, they are asking both parties to stop the
violence when we are protesting peacefully. none of us carry any arms or anything. many of our people have been injured. thousands of people were wounded and will never been able to go back to their lives the same. but still, we made sure we are committed to a peaceful struggle, because we believe we can have democracy with peaceful change. but when you see the american government talking, always asking both parties to stop the violence. they want to present us as people use of violence. we are very upset about this. we are upset about the united states trying to hide the crimes, all of these violations. there is a big arms market here.
we have to suffer for that. we have to suffer for being a rich region. we have been a region that has interest with the u.s. unfortunately, the u.s. and the west have completely ignored the crimes of what are happening here. they are calling for economic sanctions here as pressure. they are ignoring the crimes that are committed here in bahrain. thank god the united states has television channels like you and many human rights organizations which shows the other bright side of the united states. the support is very bad. >> and zainab alkhawaja, can you talk about the condition of your father who went on a hunger
strike for, how many days ultimately? >> my father was on a hunger strike for 110 days. on the last day he was only 49 kilos. now he is better. i spoke to him after i was released. he sounded much stronger and he has already gained two kilos. we are all glad that he decided to finally and his hunger strike. >> have you been able to speak to him, were you able to speak to him when you two were in jail, as he was on his son airstrike? >> he was allowed to speak to me once when i went on to hundred strike for six days. to convince me to end my strike, they allowed me to call my father. >> on may 9, secretary clinton met with the bahraini prince in washington.
zainab, i believe you were in jail, your father on hunger strike. the significance of this meeting? at the time was solidified the continuation of weapons from the united states to bahrain. >> this is one thing that really upsets the pro-democracy movement in bahrain. this is something that is very surprising and shocking, that a government like the american administration which has called for democracy and freedom is showing so much support for dictators in our country. it is ironic that while in prison i read headlines in the newspaper saying that our country is turning a new page, where activists have the freedom to speak and move around. at the same time, i am in prison, my father is in prison, and of the prominent activists i know were imprisoned or in
hiding. here on the ground in bahrain, we see all the crimes happening, and the violations happening. nobody feels safe. many have been there arrested several times. in the end, this is not really about me or my father or nabeel. this is about the thousands of people who are suffering in bahrain. although we have been released, there are children in prison right now who have not. there is a 16-year-old in prison right now who is also injured. he was shot with birdshot in his eyes. he has not been allowed to go in for surgery. we thought that he may lose his eye while he is in prison. mansoor is another activist who was working in human rights, documented violations. he is only a high-school student and was also imprisoned. he was telling me to please pray for him. that he does not get taken back
to the interrogation room, where he was beaten severely. there are others -- one that lost both of his eyes because of birdshot -- was sentenced to prison in a trial that took less than 15 minutes, no lawyer, and no family present. these people have become nameless. nobody speaks about them. these are the people that we fear for. we do not know what will happen to them. we hope there will be some changes. until then, we will carry on protesting, carry on going out. it does not matter how many times we are arrested, it will not stop. we have sacrificed a lot for democracy and freedom. >> the day before the crown prince met with hillary clinton and she held a news conference, a bahraini spokesperson said that we are looking into the perpetrators and those that use print broadcast to incite
illegal protests around the country. are these weapons used against you, against the people of bahrain? >> at least half of the people who were killed were killed by weapons made in the united states. here, the influence of the united states is being seen as a green signal to go ahead with more oppression. we are asking human rights groups to pressure the united states to change its position in supporting the dictator and repressive regime. i wanted thank you both for being with us. nabeel rajab was just released from jail on sunday after days of interrogation and imprisonment. and thank you very much to zainab alkhawaja, who has also been just released.
peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we end today's show, we look at how haiti could be sitting on a goldmine. vaca years of rumors that mining companies were exploring in haiti, canadian-u.s. corporations now say they have permits to mine at least one- third of the country. the new prime minister says the estimated $20 million worth of minerals could help liberate it from dependency in foreign aid in rebuild from the devastating 2010 earthquake but many worry that the mine will be a boom for foreign investors and a bust local communities. for more, we are joined by an author. the investigation was made possible by a grant from the pulitzer center on press is reporting. we invited representatives from the two mining companies featured in the report but both companies declined our request. what did you find?
>> what we found was, very quietly and quickly, these foreign companies have purchased licenses to explore or galt all the way and exploit its over 1000-square miles of 80's north. this is in a circumstance where we have the poorest country in the hemisphere, possibly the most corrupt government in the hemisphere. recent allegations have come out of the dominican republic of massive corruption of this current president, perhaps cabinet. we also have the most the liberal government in the hemisphere whose slogan is haiti is open for business. you have a pervert slogan where you have giant pit mines in the north, in a country that is already the environmentally devastated, mines being run by canadian and american companies who have done this all over the world, where most of the money and gold that it double go north.
>> can you tell us about the farmer that brought you a letter to -- that led to this investigation? >> yes, they are also a community radio journalist. this store was brought to me, to my students of journalism, by someone who was about 65 years old. he had a letter in his hand that said eurasian minerals had the rights to explore in 16 communities. he said that he was wary because they were worried that the mining would pollute the water and they were farmers. >> one of your team spoke to a man in an area where gold mining is already happening. they seem to welcome the opportunity for more work. >> that would be great for us. we feel strongly about something. we like foreigners a lot. when foreigners come here to work with us, we are proud. it is beautiful.
if they made in mind, it would be as if god himself came down from heaven. >> the done anything the company might be ripping you off? >> yes, that could happen. >> mining company said that they could create hundreds of jobs, again, the poorest country in the hemisphere, to help rebuild its infrastructure. talk about this. >> hundreds of jobs in a country of millions of people and you are taking at how many sectors of agricultural land? these are low paying jobs. haiti has been through this mining process before. there is a canadian company that took out a lot of copper. those workers were earning about $9 a day. the most important thing is for haiti to look around hemisphere
at countries who are doing a good job of trying to protect the interest of their country and the environment at the same time that they take advantage of what is under the soil. for example, cuba. the nickel mining is owned mostly by the government. in peru, the head start to push back against newmont mining. bolivia. the government says we have lithium, we will exploit the lithium. thanks very much. if we need your help, we will call on you. >> talk about the government officials. >> this is an investigation that had about 12 people involved. three of us were foreigners. the rest of them are asian students in committed to journalists. the former minister of finance is now a consultant for newmont mining. he was involved in some of the negotiations which have not been published, but he supposedly said at the table on the public
interest side, and that he is on the private interest side. i know this happens in the united states, too, and it is just appalling. >> finally, newmont mining's track record, in peru, for example? >> they have the largest pit mines, certainly in the hemisphere. 250 square miles. they have been trying to open up another one. the peasants and local authorities, environmentalists have pushed back to the point where it may not happen, but if it does happen, it will be under much better circumstances, where the environment will be much better protected. it is important to know, reuters, all of these accounting agencies, they write about resource nationalism, as if it was a bad thing for a country to want to control its resources. i think it is about time. >> thank you very much.